My 6 year old hen has gone broody!?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CricketP, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. CricketP

    CricketP Chirping

    May 30, 2014
    She has spent the last weeks puffed up and sleepy, only waking for food, thought she was on the way out, but husband found her the other day sitting on our other hen's newly laid eggs

    can she really be broody being so old in chicken years? the symptoms matched what I have found online for broody behavior but it seems far fetched that that is what is going on.

    she never acted this way when she was laying (which she stopped doing about 1 or more years ago)

    thinking of getting some fake eggs or golf balls for her to nest on, poor thing

    thanks if anyone has any thoughts/advice

    and yes she is a pet

  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    My recommendation is that if she truly is broody, you need to break her or give her some fertile eggs to hatch. Being broody takes a lot out of a hen, and she will loose weight and condition. If she sits on golf balls, she will sit on them until they hatch!
  3. rainbowrooster

    rainbowrooster Songster

    Nov 26, 2011
    You can break broodiness by "cooling off" her abdomen. Put her in a wire bottom caged so her bottom half is exposed to the cooler air for a few days. I don't know where you live but you can also dip her underside in cool water if the weather isn't too cold. You can also use both techniques at the same time.
  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    If she was one of my six-year old hens, and I have several, I would break her broody spell immediately. There's a very good reason why it's mostly one-year olds that go broody. It puts a lot of stress on a hen's body to endure the three weeks of egg-sitting and infrequent eating.

    Unless you have been in great need of a broody hen and she is your only hope of the hatch you'd been planning, you wouldn't be doing your pet any favors by letting her condition continue.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Honestly, she sounds ill to me, not broody. Just cause she landed on the nest box doesn't mean she's broody, it's just a comfort area. In my experience a hen has to be actively laying to go broody, or be a serial broody. A hen that age doing poorly is likely on her way out.
  6. binky1902

    binky1902 In the Brooder

    Dec 25, 2014
    I would let her sit on them if she wants to. After six years she deserves it :)
  7. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Songster

    Sep 27, 2014
    Like I say,thats not extremely old.Chickens can live up to be about 13 years.
    Chickens can still produce eggs,they just dont choose to at elderly ages.

    Its not surprising that she did what she did,she felt to wanba be a mom.
    If you wish to break her,put net under the nest floor,and take any straw out.

    Good luck!

  8. tesiepoo

    tesiepoo Hatching

    May 5, 2016
    I am curious how things turned out? I have a 5 yr old hen who I suspect is broody. She has never gone broody. I am not sure if she is on her way out or what is going on.

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